SPARTA, NJ - About 20 members of the Sparta Volunteer Fire Department came to the July 10 municipal meeting to hear the ruling on Ordinance 12-12 approving the purchase of a new ladder truck.

The growth of businesses and buildings in Sparta has led to the need for a truck with a taller ladder.

The estimated cost of the fire truck was $975,000, however Sparta Township issued bonds for $926,250 for the actual cost.

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The council members also approved two new members for the fire department, one of which was present at the meeting to hear the passing of Ordinance 12-12.

Mark Corrice and Anthony Brunone are probationary members of the department through July 2013, at which time, they will come in as regular members on the department.

“We’re glad to see more volunteers join the department and their willingness to protect the township as it grows,” Mayor Jerry Murphy said.

The council approved three other ordinances, as well.

·      Ordinance 12-10 provided the necessary funds and approved the use of those funds for the general improvements of $631,000 from the General Capital Improvement Fund, authorized through Ordinance 12-13.

·      Ordinance 12-13 focused on water utility repairs, such as new water connections, upgrades of existing water mains, as well as the purchase of a new utility truck and all equipment specific for that truck. The bond ordinance approved was for $610,000, with $570,000 in bonds or notes issued.

·      Ordinance 12-11 approved funding as a bond ordinance of $586,000 (issuing $556,700 in bonds or notes) for improvements on some Sparta Township properties. The Municipal Building will have general renovations and will build a data center, new guardrails will be installed at White Lake Park and new lighting will be installed at Station Park. This ordinance also approved the purchase of new equipment for the Department of Public Works and the Parks Department of the Township.

In other business:

·      The council discussed and approved updates to the Little League baseball field near Station Park. Township Manager David Troast said that Musco Lighting would be replacing the broken bulbs as well as adjusting the on and off timing of the lights. A new scoreboard has been donated to replace the current Field 5 scoreboard. This new scoreboard will have a poster to recognize the donor(s) when they are announced.

·      The pathway for the Veteran’s Walk has been cleared of any overhanging shrubbery and the Mayor Morgan looks forward to its completion. “We’re progressing towards having it done by Veteran’s Day,” Mayor Murphy said. “The next step is planning the layout for the different plaques.” The plaques will be bronze, and designed by an in-house engineer.

·      Councilman Gilbert Gibbs suggested a Township flower patch project based on examples in neighboring counties. Gibbs suggested some publicly owned gardens could be sponsored by a local landscaper who would be responsible for maintaining the area.  There will be several flower patches throughout the township on township owned property, and each patch will be labeled with the sponsoring landscaper’s name.